A Vision Quest on the Highland Trail – Part 1

Apologies, I was too busy swallowing flapjack, pedalling and talking to myself to take any photos on this adventure. Besides, the phone was firmly stashed in many layers of waterproofing, somewhere in the depths of my seatpack. So in their place, let the words do the picture-painting for you, and I’ve dug out some photos of the same trails, taken on less suffery days…   … Continue reading A Vision Quest on the Highland Trail – Part 1

Þakka þér Ísland!

Well then. We arrived back home last week after an interesting month. It had been a hard winter at the point when we left for Iceland, five weeks ago. Well, by ‘hard’ I mean that we had been jollying around Chile and Argentina for a couple of months, followed by six fairly intensive weeks of preparing for a Winter Mountain Leader assessment in the Cairngorms, … Continue reading Þakka þér Ísland!

Trials and Tribulations in Patagonia

Patagonia. What was all that about then? It’s been a pretty hectic winter since we arrived home in Scotland in January, but here are some words and photos that I put together for Bikepacker’s Magazine about our trip. “All things look good from far away and it is man’s eternally persistent childlike faith in the reality of that illusion that has made him the triumphant … Continue reading Trials and Tribulations in Patagonia

Iceland: Boots, Bikes and Boldly going…

Soon (this evening in fact), I’ll be heading back to Iceland for a second time to explore more of its mountainous dirt roads by bike, and to learn more about that improbable, impossible and very thoroughly lovely country; that’s not to mention further research on the infinite variations of liquorice-based sweets to be found all over the place. Problem is, March is still wintertime in … Continue reading Iceland: Boots, Bikes and Boldly going…

Patagonia kitlist

Before trips I get a bit… concerned about detail. That’s putting it kindly. Perhaps it’s fuzzy memories of my mum organising the troops before family holidays when everything had to be accounted for – to her credit, can’t remember there ever being one of those “I thought you had the passports…” moments, and in my defence I just like knowing that every little thing has … Continue reading Patagonia kitlist

Bikepacking bikes

Bikepacking for me started with a loop of the Cairngorms on a hot, sunny weekend in 2013. I used a couple of harnesses borrowed from Annie to attach oversized, dumpy drybags to the bars and seat of an Orange Elite 26” hardtail, and faded into the moors. A couple of days later I emerged, slavering a little and desperate for a shower, but also permanently … Continue reading Bikepacking bikes

The best laid plans…

It takes quite a lot of work to make a big trip happen, not to mention a liberal sprinkling of money where airfares and equipment are concerned. From the seeds of a vague conversation sometime last winter, to what felt like weeks researching routes, plane tickets and airline policies for bicycles, in summer we paid up and committed to what we hoped would be our … Continue reading The best laid plans…

Riding Vicariously

We’re funny creatures, aren’t we? In a world of infinite distraction, unknowable mystery and singular beauty (not to mention the internet), human beings are drawn to boredom like a toddler to exposed electrical sockets, among our many other faults. Despite ourselves, we seem to have an unerring ability to pass from novel amazement to outright disinterest in the blink of an eye. The Second Coming … Continue reading Riding Vicariously

Bikerafting the Rough Bounds

“And this is where Rob thought he’d broken his leg”, said Andy, pointing to a mass of tightly packed contour lines on the map as he talked about the last time he had been to Knoydart. “Good job he hadn’t too, because if something happens out there, well… It’s not going to go well. Are you sure about going on your own?” I looked again … Continue reading Bikerafting the Rough Bounds